Getting Lost in Maryland
This is probably a story I shouldn’t be sharing for my own embarrassment’s sake, but someday I’ll be able to look back and laugh and most of you will likely find some humor in it at present, so I figured why not.
On our way back from Baltimore I dropped my friend off at her apartment. She lives in a town about a 15-minute drive away from where I am living. As I was getting ready to leave her apartment complex I pulled out my phone to bring up my GPS (that afternoon was the first time I had ever been to her place and I wasn’t entirely sure how to get back). 5% battery.
Hmm, well, I figured, it probably can stay alive long enough to get me to the main road and I could probably find my way back from there. Wrong. I was wrong on so many levels.
First off, my phone died about 10 seconds after I got the GPS on. Second, not only was I not entirely sure how to get back, I had absolutely no idea. I took wrong turn after wrong turn, driving around in circles with no recognition of my surroundings for a good half an hour. And then my gas light came on.
Now we enter panic mode. I had no idea where I was. I had no phone to use as a GPS or to call anyone. And now my car was about to run out of gas. I knew I needed to at least find a gas station if not a human being to ask for directions, so I took the next exit off of the weird highway-like road I was driving on to try to do so. I managed to find a little shopping plaza that had some cars parked in it and a Dunkin Donuts with a light on. Little did I know – with no phone and no clock in the car – that it was 11:30 at night at this point and none of the stores were open.
Luckily there were two men out in the parking lot standing by their cars (the only other ones in the lot) talking. Hesitantly, with no other foreseeable options, I got out of my car, pepper spray tucked in hand (at 11:30 at night in an empty parking lot, you never know) and walked over to them probably looking like a very scared child.
I explained my predicament to them (dead phone, from out of the area) and they were the nicest and most helpful people. Like angels, they looked up the directions on one of their phones and wrote them down step-by-step on a blank piece of paper that one of them just happened to randomly have been holding. Somehow, I had managed to still only be about 15 minutes away from my apartment (close enough to not run out of gas) but in a completely different town.
I got back in my car, so filled with relief that I was ready to cry, and finally found my way home. I still have the piece of paper with the directions they wrote down and am determined to frame it to keep it with me as a reminder that despite all of the crime, corruption and violence we see and read on the news, there really are still good people in this world.
This whole event also showed me just how dependent we are on technology these days. I'm lost without my phone - literally. My parents can drive somewhere completely new for the first time with directions and know how to get back home without any. I don't know many millennials who could manage that. It occurs to me now that it might be more helpful to pay more attention to the directions my phone GPS gives me (and remember the roads and general turns) and pay less attention to the GPS itself.
Now, the part that makes this story embarrassing is the fact that the next morning as I woke up and started thinking about the previous night’s events, I realized that the whole time I actually had a Garmin GPS sitting in the glove box of my car that I could have used to get home. Laugh, sigh, slap your forehead, you live and you learn.